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While inquiring into information missing from my WCB file, I discovered several other serious privacy violations. As evidenced in the following correspondence to the SK Privacy Commissioner (see issue #2), WCB has unquestionably breached the privacy of my former employer, as well as all individuals employed by him.

 

Thomas Brown

1114-C Blackwood St. N.

Regina, Saskatchewan S4X 3E5

 

 

January 16th, 2008

 

 

Mr. Gary Dickson                                     HAND DELIVERED

SK Information and Privacy Commissioner
503 - 1801 Hamilton Street
Regina, SK. S4P 4B4

 

 

Dear Mr. Dickson:

 

 

Re: FOI “Request for Review” form

 

As you know, I have raised 2 areas of concern regarding missing information from my WCB claim record. These concerns were presented to your office by way of the abovementioned form, which was submitted November 13, 2007.

 

By letter dated November 27, 2007, I received a reply from WCB Solicitor Wayne Dale regarding these issues. A copy of this letter (with enclosure) is attached hereto for your consideration. I also offer the following comments concerning Mr. Dale’s assertions.

 

Issue #1: Deliberations on my appeals – absent minutes and/or memorandums

 

In his response, Mr. Dale advises there are no minutes or memorandums regarding Board deliberations on the last 6 appeals I’ve filed. He adds that such records are neither kept, nor required when an appeal is based on a “paper review” of the file. He further advises that after deliberations, the Board Members provide a decision, which forms the record of their proceedings.

 

It’s important to note that the majority of my appeals contain extensive evidence and documentation, relating to multiple issues. The most recent of these appeals was 34 pages in length. The premise that 3 Board Members and their assistant deliberated on such evidence/documentation without keeping a record of their proceedings for referencing purposes, is highly questionable, if not implausible.

 

I also take issue with Mr. Dale’s assertion that the Board’s written decision forms the record of their deliberations. It should be noted that over the years the Board has raised numerous issues concerning my work injury claim. I in turn have filed numerous appeals that refute those issues. When subsequent decisions were rendered however, neither issue nor rebuttal was acknowledged, much less addressed. Instead, the Board simply raised, or resurrected other issues in which to base their denial of my claim. This game of “cat and mouse” has repeatedly played out the past 10 years, leaving me to second-guess the rationale behind any one decision.

 

Had the Board Members provided rationale for their decisions, I would not now be pursuing the minutes/memorandums of their deliberations. I remain convinced these records do exist. Furthermore I contend that given its Court of Queen’s Bench status, the Board is in fact required to keep such records. Subsequently it remains my contention that I have a right to this information, if not under Sections 49 and 171.1(1) of The Workers’ Compensation Act, then alternatively under The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.    

 

 

Issue #2: WCB audit of employer’s records – report missing from my claim record      

 

In response to this issue, Mr. Dale acknowledged the April 19, 2001 letter in my claim record from the Board’s assistant, to the solicitor of my former physician (doc. 21 of my 05/30/07 privacy complaint). He further acknowledged that while this letter indicates the audit report as being attached, the report itself is missing from my file. Ultimately Mr. Dale concluded that the audit report should have been included in my claim record, and he subsequently enclosed a copy with his recent correspondence to me (attached hereto).

 

Please know that when I requested access to the abovementioned report, I firmly believed this information pertained directly to me and as such, I should be privy to it. I refer you to the abovementioned letter in which the Board assistant clearly states the report is “concerning Thomas Brown”. However, in reviewing this report I’ve found it also contains the following:

 

     The personal financial information of all individuals  employed by  Xxxxxxxx Xxxx Xxxxxxx Incorporated 

     The detailed income information for all contracts performed by Xxxxxxxx Xxxx Xxxxxxx Incorporated, the majority of which were SaskPower contracts

     The confidential tender rates for all contracts performed by Xxxxxxxx Xxxx Xxxxxxx Incorporated, the majority of which were SaskPower contracts

 

It should be noted the report is date-stamped as being copied to the abovementioned solicitor on April 19, 2001. It is also worth noting that I received this personal/confidential information by regular post.

 

As I indicated to you in my 05/30/07 privacy complaint, the solicitor of my former physician was in fact authorized by me to review my WCB claim record. However, at the time the Board assistant released the audit report to this solicitor, it was part of my former employer’s account records, and rightfully so. You will find this explained in the solicitor’s April 23, 2001 correspondence to my attorney (doc. 18 of my 05/30/07 privacy complaint). You will also find it was Mr. Dale who authorized release of the report at that time, as indicated in the Board assistant’s memorandum dated April 18, 2001 (doc. 20 of my 05/30/07 privacy complaint).

 

Given the sensitive nature of the information in this audit report, and considering I’ve not been employed with Xxxxxxxx Xxxx Xxxxxxx Inc. since 1997, I suspect Mr. Dale should not have disclosed this information to me. Furthermore I firmly believe that the corporate financial information of a former employer, and the personal financial information of others employed by him, does not belong in the injured worker’s claim record.

 

Bearing in mind that the aforementioned solicitor was authorized to review my claim record, and given Mr. Dale now asserts that the audit report was, and is part of that record; I suspect his motive in doing this is to excuse his unlawful disclosure of my former employer’s information on April 19, 2001, as well as that of his employees. I do however recognise and appreciate that such determinations are yours to make.

 

Once again, thank you for your attention to these issues, and I look forward to your review of the same.

 

 

Regards,

 

ORIGINAL SIGNED

 

 

 

 

Attached:

 

November 27, 2007 letter of WCB Solicitor/Privacy Officer Wayne Dale (with enclosed audit report)

 

 

 

Cc:                  

 

Members of the Board – Saskatchewan WCB 

 

The Honourable Rob Norris – Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan WCB

 

The Members of the Legislative Assembly

 

http://tombrownskwcb.tripod.com/saskatchewanwcbbreachofprivacy/id5.html    

 

 

 

Given WCB has its own privacy legislation (and penalties for breaching it), and the Members of the Board at WCB are mandated to uphold such legislation/penalties, I contacted the Board with the following:

 

 

Thomas Brown

1114 – C Blackwood St. N.

Regina, SK. S4X 3E5

 

 

January 18th, 2008
 
 

Members of the Board                               VIA FAX: 787-0213

SK Workers' Compensation Board

200 - 1881 Scarth Street 

Regina, Sask. S4P 4L1 

 

 

Members of the Board:

 

 

Re: Section 171 of The Workers’ Compensation Act, 1979

 

Attached please find my recent submission to the SK Information and Privacy Commissioner, which is a follow up to privacy concerns I raised with Board Services on November 13, 2007.

 

As evidenced in the attached, WCB Solicitor/Privacy Officer Wayne Dale has clearly violated the privacy of several individuals, on 2 separate occasions. It should be noted that 4 of these individuals had no involvement whatsoever in my work injury claim, and the fifth is in fact an employer/WCB stakeholder.

 

Please know I will immediately be contacting the Minister Responsible for WCB regarding this issue. In due course I will also be contacting the Members of the Legislative Assembly, the media, and those directly affected by Mr. Dale’s actions. In the interim, I expect the Board to carry out its mandated duty in filing charges against Mr. Dale pursuant to Section 171 of the Act, which states:

 

(1) Subject to sections 171.1 and 171.2, no officer of the board and no person authorized to make an inspection or inquiry under this Act shall divulge or allow to be divulged, except in the performance of his duties or under the authority of the board, any information obtained by him or that has come to his knowledge in connection with that inspection or inquiry.

(2) Every person who contravenes subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than $1,000.

1979, c.W-17.1, s.171; 1984-85-86, c.89, s.29; 1993, c.63, s.46.

 

I trust the Board will find the attached in order, and that these charges will be forthcoming. 

 

Thank you for your attention to this matter, and I anticipate your response.

 

 

Respectfully,

 

ORIGINAL SIGNED

 

 

 

 

Attachment:

 

January 16th, 2008 submission to the SK Information and Privacy Commissioner 

 

 

Knowing the Board is inherently negligent in upholding WCB legislation, but that they are answerable to the Minister Responsible for WCB, I contacted the Minister with the following:

 

 

Thomas Brown

1114 – C Blackwood St. N.

Regina, SK. S4X 3E5

 

 

January 21st, 2008

 

 

Honourable Rob Norris                      VIA FAX: (306) 787-6946

Minister Responsible for WCB

Room 208, Legislative Building

Regina, SK. S4S 0B3

 

 

Dear Minister Norris:

 

 

Re: Section 171 of The WCB Act – Claim #1007 0989 21D

 

The attached information is further to my December 19, 2007 correspondence to your office, of which I’ve yet to receive a reply. While this information further supports the unjust manner the Board Members have handled my claim, it also raises serious privacy concerns.

 

In an effort to determine the rationale behind their appeal decisions, I have spent the past several months trying to obtain certain documentation from the Board Member’s office.  While I’ve only had minimal success with this, the information I have received should be of concern to you as both the Minister Responsible for WCB, and Minister of Labour. 

 

As evidenced in the attached letter to the SK Privacy Commissioner, WCB Solicitor/Privacy Officer Wayne Dale has clearly violated the privacy of several individuals, on 2 separate occasions. It should be noted that 4 of these individuals had no involvement whatsoever in my work injury claim, and the fifth is in fact an employer/WCB stakeholder.

 

Please know I have contacted the Members of the Board (attached) requesting that they file charges against Mr. Dale in accordance with Section 171 of The Workers’ Compensation Act, 1979, which clearly states:

 

(1) Subject to sections 171.1 and 171.2, no officer of the board and no person authorized to make an inspection or inquiry under this Act shall divulge or allow to be divulged, except in the performance of his duties or under the authority of the board, any information obtained by him or that has come to his knowledge in connection with that inspection or inquiry.

(2) Every person who contravenes subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than $1,000.

1979, c.W-17.1, s.171; 1984-85-86, c.89, s.29; 1993, c.63, s.46.

 

Given my experiences with the Members of the Board, I have very good reason to doubt their enforcement of this legislation. Subsequently, I am respectfully requesting that your office ensure that the Board follows its mandated duty to uphold such legislation. I again look forward to your response.

 

Regards,

 

ORIGINAL SIGNED

 

 

Given this type of privacy breach affects both employer and employee, I also took it upon myself to contact various organisations including, but not limited to, the North Saskatoon Business Association, Canadian Federation of Independent Business, SK Federation of Labour, and SK Labour Standards.  I also contacted the SK Chamber of Commerce, and the local Chamber of Commerce for Regina and Saskatoon.

 

Given my employer’s contract rates for SaskPower were released by WCB, and such rates were the result of sealed tender bids, I also took it upon myself to contact the Privacy Officer/Solicitor at SaskPower regarding this matter. Further, I apprised the Minister responsible for this Crown Corporation, as well as the Premier, and the Deputy Minister to the Premier.

 

All of the above organisations/officials were provided with the following letter (via email), which was blind-copied to various media as well:

 

Thomas Brown

1114-C Blackwood St. N.

Regina, SK. S4X 3E5

 

 

January 31st, 2008

 

 

To Whom It May Concern:

 

 

Re: Breach of Privacy

 

I am writing you in regards to serious privacy violations on the part of the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board. As this type of breach involves employers and employees alike, I believe it should be of concern to your administration.

 

As evidenced in a recent letter to the SK Privacy Commissioner (see link below), WCB’s Solicitor/Privacy Officer has unquestionably breached the privacy of several individuals, on 2 separate occasions. In both instances the personal financial information of several employees was disclosed to unauthorised third parties, as well as the corporate financial information of an employer/WCB stakeholder.

 

I have contacted the Minister Responsible for WCB/Labour regarding these privacy breaches, as well as the Board at WCB. Given these officials are mandated to uphold WCB legislation, I’ve insisted that charges be laid against WCB’s Solicitor/Privacy Officer pursuant to section 171 of The Workers’ Compensation Act, which states:

 

(1) Subject to sections 171.1 and 171.2, no officer of the board and no person authorized to make an inspection or inquiry under this Act shall divulge or allow to be divulged, except in the performance of his duties or under the authority of the board, any information obtained by him or that has come to his knowledge in connection with that inspection or inquiry.

(2) Every person who contravenes subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than $1,000.

1979, c.W-17.1, s.171; 1984-85-86, c.89, s.29; 1993, c.63, s.46.

 

To date, the aforementioned officials have neither acknowledged, nor addressed this matter. Given the Board at WCB has been aware of this issue since mid November of last year, it would appear they do not intend to enforce this legislated law.

 

One has to question the rationale for such obvious privacy breaches, especially in light of the March 28, 2007 report of the SK Privacy Commissioner concerning this issue. One must also question whether this unlawful practice will continue. Those with answers to these questions evidently feel they are not accountable to individuals like myself. I believe they are answerable to administrations such as yours however, and upon your review of these circumstances, I encourage you to contact the officials listed below. 

 

In closing, you will find copies of all correspondences relating to this issue (including this one) posted on the Internet at:

 

http://tombrownskwcb.tripod.com/saskatchewanwcbbreachofprivacy/id5.html     

 

Thank you for any and all consideration you may give to this matter. Please know I would sincerely appreciate your thoughts and concerns regarding the same.

 

 

Respectfully, 

 

Thomas Brown 

 

 

Cc:       Mr. Peter Federko – CEO, Saskatchewan WCB 

            Tel: 787-7398

 

Mr. John Solomon – Chair, Saskatchewan WCB 

            Tel: 787-4379

 

            Mr. Walter Eberle – WCB Board Member (Employee  Representative) 

            Tel: 787-4381

 

            Ms. Karen Smith – WCB Board Member (Employer Representative) 

            Tel: 787-4382

 

The Honourable Rob Norris – Minister Responsible for WCB/Labour 

Tel: 787-0341

 

            http://tombrownskwcb.tripod.com/saskatchewanwcbbreachofprivacy/id5.html 

 

 

On February 4th, 2008 I received the following response from the Director/ Chairman at the SK Workers’ Compensation Board. While I’m not entirely surprised with the timeliness of his response, I'm somewhat dumbfounded by the position he has taken:

 

 

solomonletterpg1.jpg

solomonletterpg2.jpg

Aside from the usual shuck and jive, Mr. Solomon has blatantly ignored the facts surrounding this issue. These facts being: 

  1. The document in question, a WCB audit report, contains the personal financial information of all individuals employed by my former employer. It also contains the employer’s corporate financial information, including the hourly contract rates of sealed tenders (SaskPower), and the income these contracts generated.
  2. Contrary to the assertion of WCB Solicitor Wayne Dale, under no circumstances does the abovementioned audit report belong in the injured worker’s file. Clearly it is the responsibility of WCB to safeguard such information, and given this audit report has now been placed in my claim file; any and all individuals I grant access to my file will be privy to this information. 
  3. While my attorney consented to the release of my file information for a legal proceeding in 2001, he did not consent to the release of the employer’s audit report, nor was he in a position to do so. It is again crucial to note that in 2001 the audit report was precisely where it belonged; in the employer’s account file. However, after seeking the approval of WCB Solicitor Wayne Dale, the Assistant to the Board released the audit report to the individual who was given access to my file. This being said, at no time did Mr. Dale or the Board Assistant obtain the employer's/employee's authorization  to release this information.
  4. Mr. Dale’s current assertion that this report should have been placed in my claim file in 1999 (when WCB conducted the audit), is clearly a contrived, albeit feeble defence for his unauthorised release of this information in 2001. Again, this audit report does not belong in the injured worker’s file, and by placing it there; Mr. Dale has again released this information without authorization.                 

Given the Board has played an active role in this unlawful release/disclosure of information, Mr. Solomon’s cover-up of this issue comes as no real surprise. That being said, by refusing to file charges against Mr. Dale pursuant to sections 171(1) and 171(2) of the WCB Act, and insisting that Mr. Dale acted "under the authority of the Board", Mr. Solomon has only managed to further implicate himself and the Board.

 

_____________________________

 

 

After lodging several complaints with various government officials, I finally received the following response from the Minister Responsible for WCB.  It should be noted that the Minister chose to kill 2 birds with 1 stone, responding to both my January 21, 2008 letter to his office (above), as well as my December 19, 2007 correspondence regarding the status my injury claim:

 

robnorris.jpg

In light of the above response, and given I have now been through the chain of command, the following emailed letter was sent to various officials. As per usual, it was also blind-copied to various media:

 

----- Original Message -----

From: Tom Brown

To: Wayne Dale (WCB Solicitor) ; Walter Eberle (Board Member) ; Lorne Calvert (Opposition Leader) ; Karen Smith (Board Member) ; Julie Benjamin (Garnet Garven's office) ; John Solomon (Director/Chair WCB) ; Honourable Rob Norris (Minister of Labour) ; Honourable Don Morgan Q.C. (Minister of Justice/Attorney General) ; Honourable Brad Wall (Premier) ; Garnet Garven (Deputy Minister to the Premier) ; Elaine Smith (Labour Minister's office) ; Peter Federko (CEO - WCB)

Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2008 5:43 PM

Subject: Re: Sections 171(1) and 171(2) of the WCA

 

Thomas Brown

1114-C Blackwood St. N.

Regina, SK. S4X 3E5

 

 

February 20, 2008

 

 

To Whom It May Concern:

 

 

Re: Sections 171(1) and 171(2) of The Workers’ Compensation Act, 1979 (WCA)

 

The following is further to the issue of WCB’s unauthorized disclosure of employer/employee information, as it pertains to above legislation.

 

Given I have taken the necessary steps to have this issue remedied, and appropriate action has not been taken by the WCB Solicitor, the Board/Chair at WCB, and the Minister Responsible for WCB; the way is now clear for me to request a criminal investigation into this matter. With respects to the WCB Solicitor, I am now also at liberty to file a formal complaint with The Law Society of Saskatchewan.

 

In the days to come I’ll be preparing a written statement regarding this issue, which will be filed with both the RCMP, and The Law Society of Saskatchewan. This statement will show that the aforementioned officials have disregarded their mandated duty to adhere to, and/or uphold WCB legislation/law (i.e. sections 171(1) and 171(2) of the WCA). Furthermore it will show that the Board/Chair at WCB have neglected their “Duty to Protect Confidential Information”, as specified in their Governance Policy. It is my understanding that such a policy is the result of a Board decision, which carries the same weight as a Court of Queen's Bench decision. 

 

Interested parties will find all relevant information concerning this issue at:

 

http://tombrownskwcb.tripod.com/saskatchewanwcbbreachofprivacy/id5.html

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Tom Brown

 

The following statement has been submitted to the RCMP, The Law Society of Saskatchewan, the Minister of Justice, the Minister Responsible for Crown Corporations (SaskPower), as well as the Premier:

statementpg1.jpg

statementpg2.jpg

Given the government has been aware of this matter for better than 2 months, and have yet to respond to my concerns, the following has been sent to numerous officials (see foot of letter):

Thomas Brown

1114-C Blackwood St. N.

Regina, SK. S4X 3E5

 

 

April 1st, 2008

 

 

Premier Brad Wall                                     VIA FAX: 787-0885

Room 226, Legislative Building

2405 Legislative Drive

Regina, SK. S4S 0B3

 

 

Dear Premier Wall:

 

 

Re:  WCB – Unlawful disclosures of corporate/personal information

 

The above matter was first brought to your attention by correspondence dated January 31, 2008. Since that time I’ve provided a signed statement regarding this matter, which was hand delivered to your office with my letter of March 10, 2008. Regardless that the information presented to you is very straight forward, and requires little by way of an investigation; I’ve yet to receive any correspondence from your office.

 

To date I have gone to considerable lengths to bring this matter to the attention of your government. By letter dated January 21, 2008 I advised the Minister Responsible for WCB of these disclosures, which involves a financial audit report containing employer/ employee information. In his February 14, 2008 reply Minister Norris evaded this issue, acknowledging only the January 31, 2008 response of former WCB Chair John Solomon. Regardless that Mr. Solomon’s response clearly showed a cover-up of these unlawful disclosures; Minister Norris evidently considers this matter closed. Despite that I’ve sent subsequent correspondences to his office, I’ve received no other response to date.   

 

By correspondence dated February 12, 2008, I also contacted the Minister Responsible for Crown Corporations regarding WCB’s disclosure of the employer’s “sealed tender bids” with SaskPower. Subsequently when his office ignored 2 out of 3 telephone inquiries I made, I again wrote Minister Cheveldayoff on March 12, 2008. Despite my inquiry as to what, if any action his office plans to take regarding this matter, I’ve received no response from him to date. 

 

By correspondence dated February 20, 2008, I also advised the Justice Minister of WCB’s contravention of Section 171(1) of The Workers’ Compensation Act, 1979, which specifically addresses the issue of unlawful disclosures. By letter dated March 10, 2008, I also provided Minister Morgan with a signed statement regarding this contravention, along with the evidence that substantiates it. The issue at hand is whether Minister Morgan is willing to investigate the contravention of legislated law. When I last spoke with his office on the March 11, 2008, I was advised the Minister was in the process of responding to my concerns. To date however, I’ve received no such response.

 

I’ve recently learned your government is in negotiations with former WCB Chair John Solomon regarding a wage severance package. As I indicated to you in my letter of March 10, 2008, I firmly believe such negotiations should be deferred pending an investigation into Mr. Solomon’s cover-up of the aforementioned disclosures. Given your government was well aware of this cover-up prior to dismissing Mr. Solomon “without cause”, under no circumstances should tax payers be responsible for his severance if there was in fact grounds for his dismissal. 

 

In closing, I believe I’ve been very patient, and that a reasonable amount of time to address these issues has long since past. In light of my numerous efforts to date, and the lack of response to them, it would be reasonable to conclude that either your government considers this matter to be insignificant, or it’s a willing participant in the cover-up of these unlawful disclosures. Please advise as to which of these, if either, is the position of your government.

 

Given the time that has lapsed since bringing these issues to your attention, I respectfully request your immediate response to them.

 

 

Regards,

 

ORIGINAL SIGNED    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cc:       Rob Norris – Minister Responsible for WCB

Ken Cheveldayoff – Minister Responsible for Crown Corporations

          Don Morgan – Minister of Justice

            Dan Zakreski – CBC

            Geoff Leo – CBC

http://tombrownskwcb.tripod.com/saskatchewanwcbbreachofprivacy/id5.html

            Andy Iwanchuk – Labour Critic

            Kim Trew – Crown Investments/Corporation Critic           

            John Nilson – Justice Critic

 

 

Update - January 24th, 2009

 

Over the past year I’ve written and/or copied 28 letters to the Saskatchewan government regarding this issue (the above are but a few). To date, 26 of these have gone unanswered.

 

Given one of its many pre-election promises was to provide “a more accountable government”, and in light of its response to this issue (or lack thereof), I’ve recently published another website in this regard. On this site you’ll find all manner of correspondence, along with additional evidence confirming the cover-up of these privacy violations.

 

Readers will find this new website here.

 

________________________________

 

 

Care to comment on this blatant “Breach of Privacy”? Please feel free to contact the officials listed below:

 

 

David Eberle (Chair – SK Workers’ Compensation Board)

deberle@wcbsask.com       

 

Peter Federko (CEO – SK Workers’ Compensation Board)

pfederko@wcbsask.com

 

Walter Eberle (WCB Board Member – Employee Representative)

weberle@wcbsask.com 

 

Karen Smith (WCB Board Member – Employer Representative)

ksmith@wcbsask.com

 

Wayne Dale (WCB Solicitor/Privacy Officer)

wdale@wcbsask.com 

 

Honourable Rob Norris (Minister Responsible for WCB)

minister.aeel@gov.sk.ca

 

Honourable Ken Cheveldayoff (Minister Responsible for SaskPower)

minister.cc@gov.sk.ca

 

Honourable Don Morgan (Minister of Justice)

minister.jus@gov.sk.ca

 

Honourable Brad Wall (Premier)

premier@gov.sk.ca 

 

 

All My Websites:

 

“WCB: Your Right To Sue” – Click here

 

“Saskatchewan WCB Breach Of Privacy” – Click here 

 

“The Saskatchewan Party: Broken Promises & Cover-ups” – Click here 

 

"Appealing the Saskatchewan Workers Compensation Board" – Click here 

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